by Eric Oslund
Last year: 13-0
Coaches: Steve Hamilton (head), Mike Cross, Mike Breyen, Ben Gustafson, John Pink, Ryan Korolewski, Danny Kohler, Brad Olson, Luke Nowitski, Eric Klaers, Mark Leadens, Aaron Osterman, Chad Westberg, Tobby Stroud, Mike Miller, Alex Sears, Garrett Ott, Mavre Johnson.
Returning starters: Ronnie Audette, Sherrod Kpahn, Jackson Smith, Pat Boland, Mitch Stroh
Also in the mix: Adam Nelson, Collin Nelson, Jackson Smith, Carter Baldwin, Reese Norby, Max Weisberg, Nick Eull, Jimmy Heinzen, Cory Hughes, Devon Garrison.
Coach says: “Best offseason that we have had since I have been here. Big numbers and the physically strongest team that I have ever had. We need to develop depth in some areas, but this could be a very good football team.”
Outlook: If the depth develops this team has a chance to be very good.
Last year: 0-14-2
Coaches: Brian Steuter (head), Ryan Servaty, Nathan Cairns, Mari Wallstead, Tony Cloud, Julie Steuter
Captains: Ciara Bailey, Lauren Kolles
Coach says: “We should have a number of seniors that we will look to for leadership and guidance but we also know there are a number of younger players who are assertive and could find there way on to the team.”
Outlook: The Elks have been training hard throughout the summer and believe they are ready to improve from where they ended last year, and continue to improve throughout the season.
Last year: 3-13-1
Coaches: Ryan Sorensen (head), Derek Dorholt, Reed Harmon, Jake Holbrook
Captains: Grant Warner, Carson Friestad, Lucas Holbrook
Returning starters: Noah Adams, Friestad, Lucas Holbrook, Danny Riley, Warner
Also in the mix: Talon Heath, Brady Eastmen
Coach says: “This is a very soccer-minded group of players. We may be young, but they understand the game and that could be the difference we are looking for.”
Outlook: The Elks know that a lot of teams may be overlooking them after a 3-13-1 season last year, but believe they have the talent to surprise some people.
Last year: The boys were sixth in their conference and fifth in their section, while the girls were fifth in their conference and fourth in their section.
Coaches: Mike Niziolek (head), Brian Gilbertson, Jill Varty
Returning seniors: Jessica Holmquist, Lindsey Stiegler, Alexi Jacks, Madison Coonradt, Noah Haaf, David Schwappach, Thomas West, Carson Pixley
Expected contributers: Audrey Neuerburg-Chapman, Jessica Holmquist, Madison Mitzuk, Ava Trombley, Annica Carr, Makayla Leuthold, Elaina Kuhnau, Angel Fredin, Lucas Gustafson, Miles Olofson, David Schwappach, Joseph Gustafson, Noah Haaf, Thomas West, Michael Almich
Coach says: “It will be a wonderful season. I know that I have 70 runners who want to be the best distance runners they can be. They work hard in practice, are positive and are enjoying their experiences in cross-country running.”
Outlook: The Elk River cross-country team has been consistently one of the better teams in Section 7AA and once again expect the same.
Girls swim and dive
Last year: The team finished 10th in their conference and eighth in their section.
Coaches: Luke Johnson (head swim), Jennifer Bartlett (head dive), Betsy Ludvigson
Captains: Sydney Adkins, Claire Grundman, Olivia Hansen, Tia Lerud, Hailey Odegard
Returning contributers: Adkins, Grundman, Hansen, Lerud, Odegard, Annika Borovansky, Ashley Boyd, Janine Bury, Sheridan Christianson, Abby Charleson, Abby Fritschel, Hannah Geode, Izzy Krivich, Kaja Montplaisir, Emily Nelson, Asha Rustad, Rachel Schleuten, Lily Sharp, Sophia Zimmerman
Also in the mix: Emma Gangl, Megan McMorran, Maria Rydberg, Julia Schmeidel, Hannah Schumacher
Coach says: “I really like the attitude of the captains this year. They are ready to work hard and get back to our winning ways.”
Outlook: The team should be much improved this season, and will be looking to send multiple swimmers to state.
Last year: 21-7 overall
Coaches: Randy Ronning (head)
Captains: Meagan Brown, Dee Dokken, Carmen Kaelke
Returning starters: Brown, Kaelke, Riley Mathis, Dokken, Sydney Reiner, Samantha Reiner, Paige Anderson
Also in the mix: Kaitlin Tran, Emma Anderson, Lydia Haack, Sophie Wetherille, Lauren Conzet
Coach says: “I don’t think anyone in the state has a better coaching staff than we do, and strong parental support, so it looks like the pieces are in place for a great season. “
Outlook: This year should be very similar to last season where they won their conference championship and narrowly missed out on making it to state as a team, losing 4-3 in the section final.
Last year: 16-12
Coaches: Theresa Brummer (head), Amy Kahl, Rick Michalak, Lizzy Meyer, Lindsey Maciej, Claire Martinez
Captains: Kincaid Strain, Haley Ullrich
Returning starters: Strain, Ullrich, Sarah Johnson, Molly Bense, Erin Davis
Also in the mix: Kaylin Plautz, Ashley Lynch, Sydney Schuester, Allison Hall, Clarissa Hilary, Larkin Clem
Coach says: “Trust. It all comes down to this basic concept of life. You have to trust each other. This is one of the most ‘empathic’ group of young women I have worked with. They work hard for each other – they honor each other’s success. Selfish has no place on high level teams…you can have a ‘winning’ season…but in the end ‘selfish’ stops you dead in the water. This group understands the relationship you build with your teammate and your coaches will determine our ability to succeed. Trust!”
Outlook: The Elks have already discovered in our summer competitions that opponents underestimate us. Obviously we graduated a top notch group of athletes. However, this group has an intangible talent – connection. There is a greater effort by the group and less focus on individual ambitions.